The Los Angeles Lakers are still going strong this week as they continue to play their final game of the season against the Denver Nuggets amid the uncertainty surrounding their fate, especially regarding their future relationship with head coach Frank Vogel. According to reports, the team have set their eyes on Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse.
Nurse came out on Sunday as a new and stronger candidate after days of media speculation, saying that Utah Jazz’s Quin Snyder and Philadelphia 76ers’ Doc River have been offered the position of the Lakers’ head coach.
In an interview with Heavy.com, an Eastern Conference executive said that Nurse was a strong candidate as he was represented by Klutch Sports, the same agency representing Lakers superstars Anthony Davis and LeBron James.
“They’re [Raptors] not going to let him go,” the executive said. “But it makes him look better and Klutch look better if they are asking for him, right? So yeah, I would not be surprised to see the Lakers ask about him but more as a favor to Klutch. Maybe they won’t because he is so far out of reach. But, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours, that is how things work.”
Nurse’s track record
Nurse has a 186-121 regular-season record during his time with the Raptors for three seasons (pending Sunday’s finale against the New York Knicks). In his first season as their head coach, Nurse guided the team to their first NBA title.
Following his outstanding debut, Nurse was named NBA Coach of the Year in 2020. That season, the Raptors finished with 53-19.
However, it is known that Nurse signed a multi-year agreement with Toronto in 2020. Therefore the Lakers will have to negotiate for Nurse to leave his contract should they want him to coach in the Southland.
Responses from fans
In response to the outgoing rumors of the potential hire of Nurse, a lot of Raptors fans expressed their doubts, saying that the Lakers were delusional and would not get Nurse to sign a contract.
Many fans also said that Nurse’s future is bright with the Raptors, rendering his transfer to the crumbling Lakers impossible.
Additionally, Nurse is allowed to exercise his developmental skills in Toronto and routinely win in the East. Leaving for the Lakers who are subservient to whatever Lebron James says and lack the defensive depth Nurse desires would be a short-sighted choice for him.
Other news from Lakers
Aside from Vogel, who is expected to be fired, general manager Rob Pelinka will likely be put on trial after his summer acquisitions failed miserably this year.
The acquisition of Miami Heat scoring guard Kendrick Nunn, who did not play a single game due to a bone bruise, proved to be one of the costliest mistakes made by a Lakers general manager.
Potential departures by superstars James and Anthony Davis will also add to the fall of the Lakers. Davis is expected to be tossed around as potential summer trade capital, with James exhibiting a laissez-faire attitude toward staying in Los Angeles.